Personality and Politics
As we mentioned in the previous chapter, personality is a central concept in psychology. For this reason, personality is placed at the bottom of the Political Being’s brain, representing its roots and, therefore, the most fundamental element. Personality not only aﬀects how people think and behave in the political arena, but it is also aﬀected by the life experiences of individuals. In this chapter we consider some central questions about personality addressed in political psychology, including questions such as: How does personality aﬀect political behavior? How “deep” must we go in understanding the development of a person’s personality in order to understand his or her political inclinations (to the unconscious or to more surface, conscious traits and motivations)? What personality characteristics are most politically relevant? Are people completely unique, or do they share personality traits in various combinations making individuals more or less similar in their political behavior? How should we study personality since we can’t very well put a political ﬁgure on the couch and ask him or her questions?